Sprawl (Mountains beyond Mountains)

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Public/15%20-%20Sprawl%20II%20%28Mountains%20Beyond%20Mountains%29.mp3?w=9a093238

West Coast (Wild Coast), South Island, New Zealand

The very windy ferry ride

We’ve been ruined. I don’t see how there is any drive in the world that could possibly beat traveling south along Route 6. The mountains were the backdrop to every scene on the South Island, and they were so omnipresent that I instantly missed them the second we touched down in our next, decidedly less picturesque destination. Here’s a quick tour of the the week long journey South.

Marborough (Wine Country)

Saint Clair

We managed to sample seven wineries in one day before quitting (there was no spitting). Marborough is known for its sauvignon blanc, but they also do a fair amount of Pinot Noir and sparkling wines (read: champagne). My personal favorite was No. 1 Family Estate who specialize in sparkling wine and Tim enjoyed Cloudy Bay. But the star of the day was really the weather. It was 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, making a lunch at Herzog among the vines seem a little almost heavenly.

A little Rose instead?

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The Dock of the Bay

[Audio https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9901364/01_Sittin_On_The_Dock_Of_The_Bay.mp3%5D

The Trip before the Trip – San Francisco, California

The Painted Ladies

At midnight on Thursday, after sitting on a plane for over 6 hours I looked down on what was supposed to be San Francisco. The Pilot was explaining that we had been circling for some time over the city covered in thick fog and now we were out of gas and going to Oakland to fill up (which was even foggier, but there was no line to land). Being an East Coaster, I don’t know exactly how Oakland fits in with SF (well I do now) so when we landed and were informed that we were getting gas and would be back in the air to SFO eventually I wasn’t sure what to do. “How much is a taxi and how long is the ride?” …”Oh wait, the BART runs all the way here?” So I got off at Oakland.

the BART at midnight - not too sketchy

Now, my friend had a town car meeting her at the airport that I was supposed to jump into, so being down-grading to a 45 minute commute on the subway at midnight, or 3am according to my internal clock, was low on my list. As I was running with bags to make sure I made the last train a thought came over me: this is going to be my life for the next several months – dealing with it in the U.S. is good practice – at least the directions are in English. After arriving at my stop and following a very stubborn blue dot on my iphone in every direction but the right one, and then finally dragging my bag in correct direction (up a 20 degree inclined hill for several blocks), I made it to the hotel. I found Michelle, changed my shirt and despite every bone in my body begging me not to, we went and grabbed a beer and at a great pub – and then, just like magic I felt completely content.
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